Infrastructure Funding Gets Shoved Aside

Hopes are dimming that the next legislation to come out of Congress to address the COVID-19 pandemic will include a boost in infrastructure spending.

The Rail Passengers Association reported on its website late last week that plans to include infrastructure spending have been shelved for now.

RPA said infrastructure spending was pushed aside amid partisan wrangling over what the next pandemic emergency aid bill will contain.

Infrastructure spending might still be included in a future COVID-19 bill, but RPA said it might be the fifth bill that Congress takes up later this year, perhaps mid summer.

Congress thus far has approved and President Trump has signed three pandemic related bills.

RPA commented that with the ranks of the newly unemployment rising to 16.8 million there is likely to be political pressure for programs that offer jobs to those out of work.

Many of the new unemployment claims have come from those affected by state orders that have shut down restaurants, entrainment venues and other businesses deemed nonessential in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

RPA noted that several members of the Senate have called for an additional $750 million to help transit agencies protect their workers COVID-19.

That funding would be used to acquire personal protective equipment.

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